As a member of a military family, Terry was born in the Panama Canal Zone and raised in Altanta, GA, St. Louis, MO, and Olympia, WA. As a sixth grader in 1988, he debuted as an 11 year-old organist at St. Blaise Catholic Church in St. Louis, Missouri, and his musical career has blossomed ever since. After moving to the Pacific Northwest in 1991, he graduated from Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma (1995), Centralia College (1997), and received a Bachelor's of Music Education degree from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in 1999. In 2007, Terry earned a Master's Degree in Music from Boston University.
After 3 years as church organist in St. Louis, MO, Terry’s family moved to Olympia in 1991 where Terry took on the role of church organist and Youth Choir Director at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lacey, WA where he served for nearly a decade. While at Centralia College, Terry was introduced to musical theater while musically directing “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and his love of musical theater was born. It was also at Centralia College where Dr. Donna Huffman introduced Terry to the idea that music can be used to serve the community for greater good, and not just for entertainment.
In 1998, during his senior year at PLU, Terry began the Olympia Choral Society with 15 singers and performed their first Christmas concert in front of 55 people. The original idea of OCS was to offer a free concert experience to the community. In 1999, OCS began collecting audience donations from the Christmas concert on behalf of local charities. This year, the Olympia Choral Society, made up of nearly 100 singers from the community, will perform 4 Christmas concerts for its 20th Anniversary Season in front of nearly 3,000 loyal patrons. OCS has donated over $150,000 to local charities and given nearly $20,000 in scholarship money to local high school seniors to pursue music in college.
OCS has sponsored and performed two 9/11/01 memorial concerts, performing Mozart’s Requiem with a full orchestra and mass community choir, giving donations to Wounded Warriors. OCS has put on some 45 concert series totaling over 150 free concerts to the community since 1998 with performances of traditional choral music, concerts of jazz and pop music, world music with famed percussionist Kalani (2012), choral masterpieces such as Rutter’s Requiem (2005), Mozart’s Requiem (2007) and Mass in C Minor (2011), Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna and Vivaldi’s Gloria (2008), Faure’s Requiem and Dvorak’s Mass in D (2015), Handel’s Messiah (2016), and two concert versions of Broadway musicals, The Civil War (2010) and Les Miserables (2014). OCS has collaborated with several local music groups such as the Olympia Symphony Orchestra, Olympia Youth Chorus, Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia, Olympia Chamber Orchestra, Brass Unlimited, Chinook String Quartet, Timberline High School Chamber and Symphonic Choirs, Olympia High School Symphonic Choir and the New Life Baptist Church Choir. OCS has also appeared as guest artist with the Olympia Symphony Orchestra performing Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass (2008) and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (2012 and 2018). OCS was invited and has performed 3 times in New York’s Carnegie Hall as part of Mid-America Productions concert series (1999, 2005 and 2010).
In 2001, Terry was hired as choir director at Timberline High School. At that time, THS has 2 choirs with 37 students combined. Since then, THS Choirs have grown and now boast 6 choirs (Symphonic Choir, Chamber Choir, Treble Choir, Concert Choir, MANCHOIR and Symphonic Ensemble) with nearly 200 students participating annually. Timberline Chamber Choir has won the regional ensemble contest for Women’s Vocal Ensembles yearly 2006 and received Superior ratings at the State Contest in each of those years. Symphonic Choir, Treble Choir and Concert Choir have all received Superior ratings at local festivals over the past 15 years. The THS Choirs has traveled and performed in New York (2005, 2010), San Francisco (2008, 2012), Chicago (2006, 2015), and across the state of Washington.
While at Timberline, Terry has musically directed 16 musicals, earning several nominations and awards from the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle for his work in The Civil War (2005), Big River (2006), Les Miserables (2007), Ragtime (2010), Hairspray (2011), Chicago (2012) and Miss Saigon (2016). Terry also has taught weight training at THS for the past 14 years.
Also in 2001, Terry was hired as organist at Westminster Presbyterian Church of Olympia, becoming Director of Music Ministries in 2004. He served in both capacities until 2015. During his tenure at WPC, Terry directed the Chancel Choir, Youth Choir, and Praise Team while maintaining duties as organist. In 2015, Terry was hired at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Lacey, where he serves as Music Director and Chancel Choir Director. Music ministry has been an important piece of Terry’s faith and growth since his first church organist position in 1988.
In 2012, Terry began writing songs based on actual encounters and conversations that he and his wife had had with members of local homeless camps. TENTS, a full scale musical theater production about homelessness, composed and produced by Terry, was first performed at the Panorama Auditorium in July, 2016. TENTS was revised and edited for another performance run in March, 2017.
Terry also serves as head football coach at Rainier High School. In 4 short years in Rainier, Coach Shaw has led the Mountaineers from a 1-9 record, getting beaten by 50 and 60 points each week to a 6-2 record in 2016 and making the district playoffs in 3 of the last 4 years.
In his spare time, Terry enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife, Jennifer and two sons, Trevor and Owen.